Type: Chapter

Developments in the use of fertilizers

Author Bryan G. Hopkins

Brigham Young University

Publication date:

17 February 2020

ID: 9781786766656

E-Chapter format

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Fertilizers are a blessing and a curse. Fertilization was a large component of the Green Revolution, resulting in unprecedented and continued yield increases; enabling abundant food, fuel, and fiber and leading to longer and better quality lives for much of earth’s population. However, progress comes with opportunity costs. Fertilization and the associated exponential population growth with it, and other agricultural advances, contributed to nutrient pollution, natural resource depletion, and climate change concerns. This chapter discusses the history, current status, and future needs of fertilizer developments in light of the goal of global sustainability for both agriculturally advanced and deficient areas. It reviews developments in using efficient fertilizers sources using proper techniques of rate, placement, and timing to meet the needs of advancing yields of modern crop cultivars/hybrids. Two case studies are also presented highlighting sustainable fertilization practices impacting the environmental, economic, and social sustainability goals.

Table of contents

1 Introduction
2 Nutrient pollution and resource depletion
3 Achieving more sustainable use of fertilizers
4 Developments in nitrogen fertilizers
5 Developments in phosphorus fertilizers
6 Developments in potassium fertilizers
7 Developments in sulfur fertilizers
8 Developments in calcium, magnesium, and micronutrient fertilizers
9 Case study
10 Conclusion and future trends
11 Where to look for further information
12 References